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Liverpool's Coutinho can reach Messi, Suarez, Ronaldo level - Henderson

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson feels Philippe Coutinho can make the leap up to the elite level of football's Ballon d'Or contenders.

Coutinho, 24, has shown regular flashes of brilliance for the Reds since his move from Inter Milan in January 2013 and is now an integral member of the side.

The Brazil international showed his worth on Sunday in Liverpool's Premier League opener against Arsenal by scoring twice at the Emirates Stadium, including a long-range free kick.

Henderson believes his teammate is on track to join the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez at the top of the game.

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"Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez -- they are seen as the elite players in world football," the Reds skipper told the Liverpool Echo. "Philippe has certainly got the talent, the work ethic and the hunger to get into that bracket.

"He's a fantastic player for us. I've seen him develop as a player during his time at Liverpool and he's still only 24. If he continues to work as hard as he does and continues to develop like he has done then I'm sure he will be in that bracket before long. He's still very young.

"Hopefully it won't be long before people do regard him alongside the Messi's of this world. We have to try to keep him fit and keep him playing like that because he was brilliant against Arsenal."

Philippe Coutinho celebrates his second goal.
Philippe Coutinho scored a stunning free kick in Liverpool's 4-3 win away to Arsenal.

As well as Coutinho, Liverpool are currently well-stocked in attack with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Sadio Mane, Danny Ings and Georginio Wijnaldum -- something which has Henderson excited about for the season.

However, Liverpool may be without the impressive Mane for Saturday's trip to Burnley after the forward suffered a muscle injury in training on Wednesday.

"We have got a lot of talented players going forward," Henderson added. "We looked very dangerous at times [against Arsenal]. There's a lot of pace and creativity in the final third.

"We scored some great goals but we also need to be solid defensively and provide better protection.

"When Arsenal scored their second they gained momentum and we sat back a bit too much, inviting pressure, so that's something we need to work on.

"In the end we saw the game out and got the three points which was very pleasing but we all know we can do better.

"Burnley will be a different test and a tough test. We need to keep working and keep building as a team."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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